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Parish Krewes

Micah Ballard

Bootstrap press lowell, Ma

Fortified by the hand of modern mediums almost all his pyramids contain the remains of our two largest legacies. Undergoing many transformations he stands over our tattoos & cares not for ridicule. Crushed over bones let there be no headstones, for only these preliminaries serve to prepare our consecration. Despite other tries this one died just once & the later twice. “The light that loses, the night that wins.” Before then he would place their ashes into three pendulums, the first of which could render its wearer invisible. Now, fated as the most skilled dissector of his time we prefer the others to be swallowed, used only for channeling & taken out the mouth like this.



for Patrick Dunagan

Of morning & by tomorrow midday many will vow to begin the celebration anyway. Dug out or covered by cloth gold from the hands & feet are taken off. Bearing the dates & epitaphs between they turn from outer to inner & care not whose spell they cast. Found to bring direct curses their molds are worn atop the teeth & are said to be inscribed v.s.o.p. Pointing to their ruins, lamentations like this one need no introduction.



for Jeff Butler

Scores of letters, telegrams & poems Lie unread on the table. veiled in the folds Neglected light, there are no more arches Only wall & shadow. head of Nero Bone-pin & scissor, in uniform departure They pass in procession & do not stand up To cold or hunger. We keep moving, making A white cross over both wrist & shoulder. This does not work well. There are five marks The first of which enables life after death So let the first override the third & second Override the fourth. There are no Excavations here, only private vaults Ceremonies left without safe keeping.


held for murder one he wore a slight build short hair fixed to a crown. Brought down to enter the earth the parlor prayers are said societies benevolent to the beauty within each. But we get lost stagger to talk always the unattainable always the irreproachable libations of spirit where all turns contrast

Lend us able

pharmacies to still the messengers keep quiet these lives that are not our own but are given as he to the ground lost as we are to the passing the sounding


Chamber to chamber all the slabs crack & to trace the years between his body rose to become younger. Stretched out before us we find the way for written in walls his words weigh all & they are to be heard by many.


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with Cedar Sigo



for Kevin Opstedal

Not a book left to sell not a bottle of wine to spill. Not a cigarette to smoke not a bag of herbs to toke Not a woman to ease the mind nor an alley to find one’s kind. Not a poem left to sing drawing framed to bring not a friend to offend stranger to welcome again. Not a city I’d rather be or ocean hidden to see not a place to lie the head Else a room to rent instead.



for Sunnylyn

There are sobs in the distance twin forces among the pines steps lead further voices return & under eyes of idols the influence is united. Dashed off first as rough drafts these are the only scripts that survive our cemetery years. Despite further attention to detail they do not record our failure of removal or methods of disposal. Since then we’ve been divided & the theme of death is our theifhood. Pressed into flesh like this the sickness of pearl has been a remedy for centuries indicating years spent in imprisonment Some are referred to as Suites of Diamonds others hearts, according to custom finds of this kind have no contradiction & are said to be worn at the temples summoned to dwell within


They stand alone in their eternity & are not able to give direct orders.


Too late

to be giving this passing by to say hello & bum a smoke even tho I don’t anymore. All the pills, stationary or Sauvignon Blanc we shared as trade for conversation for something to say as if there was something. you greeted us our first apartment led us into a life to lead however different we were difficult we are from one another. I see you, alone waiting for the next meal rearranging the little furniture you had left after giving it all away as you always did just to reorder the same thing,


or talking on the phone to an old friend asking for company

at your convenience as I tried today hearing that you’re gone. I don’t believe them

him who on the bus this morning said they found you two months ago.

We passed you later/sooner than that & I have here your hat a new one from New Orleans almost like the one we gave you less than a year ago. I hear you there rather me here Sunnylyn banging on your door & later crying outside while I crawled on the floor trying


to save my books & poems from the fire cracking at those windows. Today is Sunday & I figured I’d see you outside the Orbit Room shaved head & earring beard slightly grown in & cane propped against stool. you had that look as if all was nigh or had been since you moved on from that past life. you said “there were no regrets” & there shouldn’t be with everything, every day & said that every time you knocked palms full of pills, new stationary copies of letters to the building manager or your laminated business card silver letters pressed


over black. I’m glad that you got to speak with your aunt finally, come to terms with distance of family Glad that you tried to break into our apartment (on accident) on speed or would open that window from your bathroom to hand me a smoke when I was graphing the walls with Butcher paper you laughed at that laughed at me when I showed up a year later after moving to Fillmore & walked down that beautiful hall, lobby which we once shared. Asked what I took because I shook too much then pulled those pictures of Sunnylyn & I yOU & hER


& our first books which we signed, unwillingly. I see them there, on your shelf next to the champagne glasses you never drank out of across the wall all the pictures taken down now framed blank from nicotine stains with new ones inside each. I see that one of you & I inside your hair cut & dyed mine longer, mustache thicker & I wonder was it still there as you lay on your cot with window halfway open was anyone there or had been as you sat alone, finished your smoke & looked up


exhaling one last time as often you did as often we will Always be thankful of you.